October 23, 2023

Yo ACEP, We Did It!

Philadelphia. City of brotherly love. Birthplace of the “Love Train.” Home of the champion Rocky. Scientific Assembly was a great time in Philadelphia where ACEP members connected, shared, and learned of new practices, innovations, and the future of emergency medicine. Sure, Philadelphia was a great city to meet in, but the people there made it great. ACEP members leading the charge of emergency medicine and sharing their passions to advance the needle (not a hypodermic one) was inspiring. The city and particularly, the Convention Center were buzzing with excitement as members connected in the spirit of inclusivity and solidarity. Over the course of the week, there were many stimulating speaker sessions, abstract presentations, and talks on Big Data. Notably, many conversations were centered around AI and the next generation of digital tools to be leveraged through this groundbreaking technology.

Throughout the conference, the Emergency Medicine Data Institute (EMDI) was presented and shared among several meetings, and the utility of its research capabilities was displayed in abstract sessions. To recap the whirlwind of events, let us take a quick look at what happened.

We kicked off the week with a presentation on AI where Dr. Todd Taylor, EMDI Chief Vision Officer, led a discussion during the Council Townhall on its growing presence, popularity and utility within emergency medicine. The advancements and projected speed in which AI will grow are astounding, to say the least. One takeaway is that despite the rapid advancement of AI, we will always need emergency physicians. AI is not a replacement but rather a tool to ride in the sidecar, supporting the knowledge and experience emergency physicians possess. There are many exciting opportunities ahead with this technology that will enable burden reduction and ease workflows, but we will always need you, the physician, at the bedside.

HackED was a great success where ten teams competed in building novel solutions that tackle emergency medicine’s most pressing challenges. During the three-day event, participants created pitch decks and coded demos that were presented during a pitch competition. The idea behind HackED is to create an inspiring space where innovation can grow and develop into new solutions. EMDI collaborated with the Emergency Medicine Innovation Collaborative and Stanford’s StEMI X Innovators to showcase the bright future ahead for emergency medicine. Next year will be even bigger with new ideas and a comradery of innovation.

Cybersecurity is an ever-growing point of concern as ransomware attacks on hospital IT systems increase. We held a cybersecurity tabletop exercise where twenty-two emergency physicians worked in teams through a scenario-based event. Dr. Christian Dameff, Section for Emergency Medicine Informatics Chair, prompted teams in scenarios where systems cascaded into collapse due to a ransomware incident. Electronic health record systems, internal paging systems, and other critical tools were affected, and teams had to navigate the paper trail to treat patients amidst a crisis. The biggest learning to take away is that one can never be too prepared, and it all begins with awareness that it is likely a matter of when it happens.

Big data is a term that brings to mind the Lay’s potato chip phrase, “bet you can’t eat just one.” We hear it often and are aware of the power and capabilities it brings. A panel discussion was held on big data where Dr. Stephen Epstein, EMDI Board of Governors Chair, Dr. Jim Augustine, EMDI Board of Governors Vice-Chair, Dr. Arjun Venkatesh, EMDI Board of Governors member, and Dr. Todd Taylor, EMDI Chief Vision Officer shared insights of what ACEP members can do with the data EMDI brings. Over 100 million patient visits represented by over 30 million patients reside in EMDI’s data pool. EMDI data has been and continues to be leveraged in advancing emergency medicine, but the research and analytics capabilities are just the beginning.

Connecting and collaborating was the theme for the week. It was and is always great to see the faces of the emergency physicians who are the voice of ACEP. As the week wound down, I found myself sitting at the airport, excited to see what the next year will bring, and I hope you all did as well. We move on to Las Vegas in 2024, which will be just as exciting, and we look forward to seeing many of you there. To spin a Julius Caesar quote: We came, we saw, and we connected. Though the dust is settling from ACEP23 and winter is quickly approaching, ACEP’s EMDI will press forward through innovation and inspiration drawn from such a great Scientific Assembly.